The Audit Expectation Gap: Does Accountability Matter?
This study investigates institutional investors’ perceptions and assessment of the level (poor, medium, strong) of corporate accountability in bridging the audit expectation gap, following the implementation of the Jordanian corporate governance code (JCGC). This study employed a qualitative approach; In-depth interviews were conducted with ten financial analysts who work with investment institutions. The study outcomes were based on the literature review, the analysis of the qualitative data and discussions of generated themes. The results revealed that adopting effective corporate accountability system positively contributes in narrowing the audit expectation gap due to the increasing interest in the role of accountability in fighting corruption in Jordan. Such interest arises from the implication that weak corporate accountability suggests that the top management are not accountable and, if they are also major shareholders, they may consider it appropriate to view the company as theirs to do whatever they wished with. This implication has negatively affected trading in the shares of some companies. Similarly, poor corporate accountability has led to a perception by analysts that external auditors in Jordan are failing to accomplish their role as agents of shareholders. The study also highlighted the importance of active and fully-independent audit committee in ensuring the best implementation of corporate accountability among corporate governance constituents.
Keywords- Audit Expectation Gap, Corporate Accountability, Audit committees, Corporate Governance, Financial Analysts, Qualitative Research.